CHEF'S CORNER/Spices

SPICE MIXES

Za'atar

Mixture of spices used as a condiment with Middle Eastern origins. The name of the condiment shares the Arabic name of the herb used as the main ingredient. Za'atar is generally prepared using ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, or some combination thereof, mixed with toasted sesame seeds, sumac and salt.[4] Some varieties may add savory, cumin, coriander or fennel seed.

Za'atar is popular both as an herb and as a condiment in Armenia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Turkey.

Curry powder

A mixture of spices of widely varying composition developed by the British during their colonial rule of India. Most recipes and producers of curry powder usually include coriander, turmeric, cumin, and fenugreek in their blends. Depending on the recipe, additional ingredients such as ginger, garlic, fennel seed, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, green cardamom, black cardamom, mace, nutmeg, red pepper, long pepper, and black pepper may also be added

Five-spice

A seasoning in Chinese cuisine. It incorporates the five basic flavors of Chinese cooking — sweet, sour, bitter, savory, and salty. It consists of Chinese Tung Hing cinnamon (actually a type of cassia), powdered cassia buds, powdered star anise and anise seed, ginger root, and ground cloves. Another recipe for the powder consists of huajiao (Sichuan pepper), bajiao (star anise), rougui (cassia), cloves, and fennel seeds.

Herbes de Provence

A mixture of dried herbs from Provence invented in the 1970s.The mixture typically contains rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf, thyme, and sometimes lavender flowers and other herbs. Herbes de Provence are used to flavour grilled foods such as fish and meat, as well as vegetable stews.

Khmeli Suneli

A traditional Georgian spicy herbs mixture. It is popular in Georgia and entire Caucasus region. Among the herbs and spices used in khmeli suneli are: coriander, dill, basil, bay leaf, marjoram, fenugreek, parsley, safflower or saffron, black pepper, celery, thyme, hyssop, mint, and hot pepper.

Garam masala

A blend of ground spices common in the Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani cuisine. The most traditional mixes use just cinnamon, roasted cumin, caraway seeds, cloves, nutmeg (and/or mace) and green cardamom seed or black cardamom pods. Commercial mixtures may include more of other less expensive spices and may contain dried red chili peppers, dried garlic, ginger powder, sesame, mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander, bay leaves, star anise and fennel.

Tandoori masala

A mixture of spices specifically for use with a tandoor, or clay oven, in traditional north Indian and Afghan cooking. Spices vary somewhat from one region to another, but typically include garam masala, garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne pepper, and other spices and additives (e.g. lemon juice ...).

Old Bay Seasoning

A blend of herbs and spices that is currently marketed in the United States by McCormick & Company, and produced in Maryland. The seasoning mix includes celery salt, bay leaf, mustard seed, both black and red pepper, cinnamon, and ginger. It is traditionally used in Mid-Atlantic States and the northern Gulf Coast to season crab and shrimp.

Shichimi togarashi

A common Japanese spice mixture containing seven ingredients. It is also known as nanami togarashi outside Japan. The main ingredient is coarsely ground red chili pepper, to which is typically added: mandarin orange peel, sesame seed, poppy seed, hemp seed, nori or aonori, ground sansho (a relative of Sichuan pepper) . Some recipes may substitute or supplement these with yuzu peel, rapeseed, ginger, or shiso. It is often used in soups and on noodles and gyudon.

Ras el hanout

A popular blend of herbs and spices is used across the Middle East and North Africa. Typically they would include cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ground chili peppers (also known as paprika), coriander, cumin, mace, nutmeg, peppercorn, and turmeric.

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